Rancher Adrienne Ivey noticed her 150 heifers were all bunched together, and headed over to find them being herded by a "furry little beaver."
“It wasn’t until we got to the very front of the herd, that we could see what all the commotion was about.”
Ivey said it was “really quite cute,” and “the most Canadian moment of all moments.” Ivey shot video of the curious cattle drive and posted it online, where viewers have been watching the cows trailing closely behind the buck-toothed creature, with their heads lowered. When the beaver stops, the cattle stop, too, only to proceed when the furry animal continues on.
The beaver was probably just trying to get from one bit of swamp to another, apparently, when the cows put it in charge. Read the rest
Three million Americans have Type-1 diabetes. If they don't get insulin every day, they will slip into a coma and die. The price of rapid-acting insulin, needed by diabetics who can't take slower-acting insulin, has increased 1,123 percent since 1996. Many insurance companies won't cover the costs, forcing desperate parents to look for insulin on the black market.
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Gabriella is allergic to the kind of insulin her insurer covers at a $25 out-of-pocket cost. She can only take Apidra, but her insurance only covers 25 percent of the price, leaving the family to pay hundreds of dollars a month they can't afford.
So her mom has turned to the black market, trading for the medication with other families with diabetes she meets online, a tactic that regulators and health experts warn is a health risk. And she cut a back-end deal with a sympathetic drug rep: If she bought one vial he would give her 10 vials from his sample kit, nearly a one year's supply. Gabriella's grandmother covered the cost.
Mike Boyd is started a lecturing job, and he wanted to teach himself how to draw dotted lines on a chalkboard. He learned in just six minutes. The trick is pressing the piece of chalk at an angle so it skips across the board. Read the rest
Director Jonathan Demme, best known for his horror-thriller movie Silence of the Lambs, has died in New York at age 73. He had been battling cancer.
My first introduction to Demme's work was his quirky 1986 film Something Wild, about a free spirited young woman (played by Melanie Griffith) who kidnaps an uptight yuppie (played by Jeff Daniels), who then are both held hostage by her creepy thug ex-boyfriend (played by Ray Liotta). I fell in madly love with this film, which turned me into an instant Demme fan.
Some of his other brilliant films include Married to the Mob, Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate, and his Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense. And the list goes on. He was survived by his second wife, Joanne Howard, and their three children, Ramona, Brooklyn and Jos. Our hearts at Boing Boing go out to his family.
For more on Demme, here's a write-up by Variety. Read the rest
Nature documentaries: the sound is fake, the scenes are concocted, some of the animals are computer animations, and the music is emotionally manipulative. But that's the only way we will sit through them, says Simon Cade, host and creator of this explainer video. Read the rest
Lunus Sakesson's 256 byte Commodore 64 demo "A Mind Is Born" took first place at the Oldskool 4K Intro compo at the Revision 2017 digital art festival. From his program notes:
The demo is driven by its soundtrack, so in order to understand what the program needs to do, it helps to have a schematic overview of the various parts of the song.
The three voices of the SID chip are used as follows: Voice 1 is responsible for the kick drum and bass, Voice 2 plays the melody and Voice 3 plays a drone that ducks on all beats, mimicking the genre-typical side-chain compression effect.
All in all, the song contains 64 bars in 4/4 time. It is played back at 112.5 bpm by means of a 60 Hz timer interrupt. The interrupt handler is primarily responsible for music playback, while the visuals are mostly generated in main context.
"A Mind Is Born" by Linus Akesson
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After "hundreds of condoms" were found clogging a sewer pipe in Austin, Texas, police realized that illegal sex may be afoot. A nearby massage parlor was subsequently busted.
Austin police then launched their probe that culminated in a raid about six weeks later where a woman who co-managed the business "was found in a massage room with a completely nude and uncovered male," the document said. Juan Wang and her husband Joseph Emery were arrested on suspicion of managing "a prostitution enterprise that used two or more prostitutes," it said.
Clogged draines was how they caught UK serial killer Dennis Nilsen. But that was human flesh.
Previously: 80-metre fatberg removed from London sewer. Read the rest
According to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Chigago, Bose uses software to track the music and other audio listened to on its wireless headphones, violating the privacy of its users and selling the information.
The complaint filed on Tuesday by Kyle Zak in federal court in Chicago seeks an injunction to stop Bose's "wholesale disregard" for the privacy of customers who download its free Bose Connect app from Apple Inc or Google Play stores to their smartphones.
"People should be uncomfortable with it," Christopher Dore, a lawyer representing Zak, said in an interview. "People put headphones on their head because they think it's private, but they can be giving out information they don't want to share."
The headphones alone aren't the problem, apparently, but an optional app bundled with them. Savvy users may know that such things are often sleazy marketing wheezes, but that hardly excuses it.
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Juicero is a self-parodying high-tech juicing machine that raised millions in venture capital on the promise of delivering a highly calibrated squeeze to a pack of mulch sold in expensive, DRM-locked pouches, for a mere $400.
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What a haul: 100 handsets in a single backpack, found after festival-goers at Coachella trained the "Find My iPhone" app on their missing gadgets.
Reinaldo De Jesus Henao, 36, was busted after several concert-goers activated the “Find My Phone” feature on their lost smartphones and noticed that the signals led them directly to him. The ordeal was several days in the making and, according to the Indio Police Department, it took an equal effort by authorities and music fans to catch the prolific smartphone bandit.
“I noticed some chatter on social media about phones disappearing on Reddit,” said Indio Police Sergeant Dan Marshall in an interview with Gizmodo. “One of the common threads [among Reddit posters] was that they were all losing their phones at the Sahara tent.”
There's something funny about a crowd of marks so distracted and unware of their surroundings that a thief could work a hundred people before being caught by a computer program.
Photos: Indio Police Department, composited by Gizmodo. Read the rest
Update: Whoops, David got there first!
In a new paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, researchers from UC Berkeley reveal that shoelace knots do not gradualy come loose, as was previously supposed -- rather, they fail catastrophically and suddenly, thanks to strange and surprising stresses that they must endure.
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Take Rupert Degas's good impression of David Attenborough and add the dumpster-diving ibises of Australia, and you have Matt Eastwood and David Johns's magnificent Planet Earth: Bin Chicken: "it really is an awful bird."
Rae Johnson, nevertheless, steps up in defense of the Bin Chicken. Read the rest
Jan Fröjdman used HiRISE satellite data from Mars to create this beautiful and detailed flyby of the planet. Liz Stinson writes that stitching it together took months.
For Fröjdman, creating the flyover effect was like assembling a puzzle. He began by colorizing the photographs (HiRISE captures images in grayscale). He then identified distinctive features in each of the anaglyphs—craters, canyons, mountains–and matched them between image pairs. To create the panning 3-D effect, he stitched the images together along his reference points and rendered them as frames in a video. “It was a very slow process,” he says.
When I was a kid, my mind was blown by Isaac Asimov's VHS wonder, Voyage to the Outer Planets and Beyond, which (at least in some versions, if not the one you can find on YouTube), included the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab's 1980s Mars flyover animation: my first encounter with the glitchy, transfixing, uncanny quality of real data from another world. How far we have come, yet not gone.
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Futuracha Pro is a typeface designed to take excessive advantage of alternatives, ligatures and other features of modern fonts, so much so that as you type, the words evolve into striking, but consistent new forms.[via Bored Panda]
Futuracha Pro is an Open Type Font, which magically adjusts and readjusts as you write. Its quirkiness and eccentricity are the two main features that made it one of the most beloved fonts in the whole world. Until today, nobody was able to just sit down and type with it. Featuring various combinations of letters and plenty of playful ligatures, Futuracha Pro gives creative people the opportunity to actually type and create, making their ideas extraordinary and unique!
Currently available as an elaborate nest of EPS files, a proper font's been in the works for years. You can preorder it for $50, but it's still cooking and will not be available until May.
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"Before a finger leaves a key, the next key is already being pressed. She is making 9 keystrokes per second."
(From the Japanese TV series Begin Japanology)
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Pippin Barr's Snakisms is a version of the classic game Snake, but with a selection of philosophical viewpoints to choose from at the outset.
SNAKISMS was begun on the strength of the idea of "Ascetic Snake", a game of Snake in which the snake isn't meant to eat the apple (or whatever that thing is in Snake). That basic reversal of the standard form of the game struck me as funny because those sorts of things always strike me as funny, but on turning to actually make the game it seemed pretty clear it was too much of a throw-away idea all on its own.
And so it came to pass that I decided I needed to make a whole set of Snake games based (loosely) on different philosophies, eventually settling on the idea of "isms" because SNAKISMS is really a pretty great title for a game, I think you'll agree. The design process took a surprisingly long time in terms of coming up with a set of "reasonable" interpretations of philosophies/isms that could be translated in some way to the mechanics of the original Snake game.
The creator's Comp Sci PhD thesis concerns the moral dimensions of gameplay. Read the rest
Kotaku recently contacted Nintendo to ask them why Nintendo Switch cartridges taste so awful. Nintendo replied: “To avoid the possibility of accidental ingestion, keep the game card away from young children. A bittering agent (Denatonium Benzoate) has also been applied to the game card. This bittering agent is non-toxic.”
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According to Wikipedia, denatonium benzoate is the most bitter chemical compound known, commonly used as an aversion agent to prevent accidental ingestion, which is why the Switch cards are coated in it. It’s also used in animal repellent, shampoos, soaps and nail-biting prevention.